A Truro police officer is being hailed as a hero for saving a woman's life after he kicked down the door of a burning apartment this morning.
Const. Robert Hunka responded to a call on Lyman Street at 1:12 a.m. Thursday after reports of a woman yelling for help.
When he got to the apartment he said he could hear the woman calling out and coughing faintly. He saw smoke coming from underneath the door and said in the police report the doorknob was warm.
He tried knocking but there was no response.
Wasting little time, Hunka kicked in the door and was met by a thick cloud of smoke.
"[The smoke] was so thick in nature it immediately took my breath away and burnt my eyes," Hunka said in his report.
Hunka then stepped back out of the apartment, taking a gulp of fresh air before rushing in to bravely rescue the woman inside. He blindly felt his way along the wall toward the back of the smoke-filled apartment where he could hear the woman faintly calling for help.
He said the woman could not stand so he hoisted her onto his shoulders and made his way out to safety.
Truro Deputy Police Chief Jim Flemming said Hunka has made the whole department proud.
"We're very proud. Robert's a young officer. He's been with us five years and he does an exceptional job for us," he said.
"We don't always encourage our officers to put themselves in danger like that but he made that decision on his own and it worked out well."
The woman was taken to hospital while paramedics assessed Hunka at the scene.
The Truro Volunteer Fire Brigade was able to extinguish the fire. According to the police report, the fire may have been caused by a dropped cigarette.
The fire remains under investigation but officials do not believe it was suspicious. The fire was contained to that one apartment.